Add a gun that can’t shoot straight to Lockheed Martin’s F-35 track record

Add a gun that can’t shoot straight to the problems that dog Lockheed Martin Corp.’s $428 billion F-35 program, including more than 800 software flaws.

The 25mm gun on Air Force models of the Joint Strike Fighter has “unacceptable” accuracy in hitting ground targets and is mounted in housing that’s cracking, the Pentagon’s test office said in its latest assessment of the costliest U.S. weapons system.

The annual assessment by Robert Behler, the Defense Department’s director of operational test and evaluation, doesn’t disclose any major new failings in the plane’s flying capabilities. But it flags a long list of issues that his office said should be resolved — including 13 described as Category 1 “must-fix” items that affect safety or combat capability…

The number of software deficiencies totaled 873 as of November…That’s down from 917 in September 2018, when the jet entered the intense combat testing required before full production, including 15 Category 1 items. What was to be a year of testing has now been extended another year until at least October.

But, don’t worry. Uncle Sugar seems to be keeping up with the printing of tax dollars they ship by the bale to Lockheed Martin.

7 thoughts on “Add a gun that can’t shoot straight to Lockheed Martin’s F-35 track record

  1. nicknielsensc says:

    I learned long ago to never…NEVER…buy multi-function equipment. It might cost less to start, but over time, you’re going to have more problems.

    Generals, apparently, never learn that lesson.

  2. 3CardMonte says:

    Lockheed Martin, the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) prime contractor, could be required to financially compensate the Pentagon for unmet requirements in the program’s system development and demonstration (SDD) phase, a former program official tells Jane’s .
    The F-35 program had closed out 493 of the 536 SDD capability requirements as of 17 September, the Pentagon’s Department of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) said in its fiscal year 2019 (FY 2019) report released on 3 February. The 43 remaining represent either unmet requirements that will never be met, also known as written off, or those requiring additional development and testing to evaluate performance, also known as written down.
    The former program official said on 4 February that when the Pentagon and Lockheed Martin negotiate these remaining 43 requirements, the Pentagon will either reduce the requirement or will take it off the books. In either case, the Pentagon has the right to go back to Lockheed Martin and receive some kind of consideration for not meeting the requirement.
    This could be money or it could be additional services or capabilities that it did not ask for in the original contract. For example, Lockheed Martin could exceed a requirement that it met in exchange for writing off a requirement that it could not meet.
    Speaking of additions: “Lockheed Martin has added Joe Dunford, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to its board of directors, the company announced Friday.”

  3. Upgrades says:

    “The F-35 Is Getting Some Major Computer and Software Upgrades : The Tech Refresh 3 program for the fifth-generation stealth fighter will include an upgrade of the jet’s core processor and memory as well as replacement of its Panoramic Cockpit Display. Other “improvements” will include a radar upgrade along with some hardware tweaks to the hardware for the weapons-handling.”

  4. Update says:

    (1/12/21): “F-35 Flies With 871 Flaws, Only Two Fewer Than Year Earlier”
    “Aside from the technical flaws, the F-35 program faces a $10 billion shortfall in the Pentagon’s planned budget for 2021 through 2025. The Trump administration’s final budget blueprint calls for requesting $78 billion for research and development, jet procurement, operations and maintenance and military construction. But the Pentagon’s independent cost analysis unit estimates $88 billion will be needed, according to a June 2020 analysis.
    The F-35 program is undergoing a “Block 4” upgrade costing at least $12.1 billion that’s intended to correct past deficiencies and introduce new capabilities in six-month increments through 2026 to keep up with current threats.
    The F-35 has not yet been certified to be combat-ready against the toughest Russian or Chinese threats and thus ready for a decision on full-rate production.

  5. Zaharoff says:

    “The UAE has completed the signing of a $23 billion deal with the US to buy defense equipment and up to 50 American F-35 fighter aircraft.”
    “Italy permanently halts arms sales to Saudi Arabia, UAE : Italy’s figures from 2019 show Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates ranked as the 10th and 11th biggest markets for Italian arms exports.”

  6. Tango Uniform says:

    Newly leaked video shows a $100 million F-35C, the newest fighter in the Navy, crashing in flames on aircraft carrier.
    Peter Layton, a former Royal Australian Air Force officer now at the Griffith Asia Institute, noted that the F-35 seemed to have control problems on its approach to the carrier.
    “As the aircraft is coming down the flaps are working overtime backwards and forwards. It looks like the pilot has lost control and is suffering oscillations,” he said.
    He said the crash suggested to him the jet was not using an automatic landing system, digital controls which help limit the number of times the pilot must make corrections to get the plane safely on the deck.
    “It’s a really clever piece of software that links up the flight controls [the flaps] and the throttles and also gives the pilot some display so the pilot can monitor the system and fine tweak,” Layton said. “This is a reasonably new system that came out of the F-35 program.”
    Seven people were injured in the accident including the pilot, who ejected from the plane, and six others aboard the carrier.

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